Close Menu

Hot new London bar openings: October

Dry Martini

The team behind iconic Barcelona bar Dry Martini have opened a London outpost at the Melia White House Hotel in Regent’s Park. Headed up by Javier de las Muelas, the Barcelona original continues to top world’s best bar lists. As you’d expect, the signature is the Dry Martini made with gin. Headed up by bar manager Martin Siska, a martini counter offers 80 gins and an array of bitters allowing guests to craft their own cocktails.

The Manhattan Project

Popping up at Dalston drinking den Pond until the end of November is The Manhattan Project, which will specialise in “classic cocktails done right”. Classics will be twisted on using seasonal ingredients, with the Sex on the Beach and the Orgasm, both of which appeared in Tom Cruise’s famous poem in the film Cocktail, getting a makeover. Prior to Pond, The Manhattan Project sprung to life at bar Bohemia in Hackney.

Mermaid Bar

We love the sound of the Mermaid Bar downstairs at the latest outlet of popular oyster shack Wright Brothers in South Kensington. Decked out in green leather and granite, among the sea-themed cocktails on offer are the Fish Tail featuring Buffalo Trace Bourbon, Calvados, Benedictine, lime juice, marmalade and rosemary; and the Sirens Call, which blends Zubrowka, Luxardo, anise syrup, apple juice, egg white and lemon juice.

Noble Rot

Noble Rot magazine founders Mark Andrew and Dan Keeling are to open a wine bar and restaurant on Lamb’s Conduit Street. Formerly Vats wine bar, the space will be renamed Noble Rot and will boast a 70-seater restaurant headed up by Paul Weaver of St John Bread & Wine and The Sportsman in Seasalter fame.

The Sportsman’s Stephen Harris will also be on hand as executive chef. Inspired by informal wine bars in Paris that serve food, the bar will specialise in British produce with a French accent and its menu will change with the seasons. Wines will hail from around the world with a strong by the glass offering that punch above their prices. Bottles meanwhile, will feature hard to find back vintages from top producers.

67 Pall Mall

The hotly anticipated private members’ club for wine lovers, 67 Pall Mall, finally opens its doors in a grade II listed former bank designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens this month. Set across three floors, 67 Pall Mall is the brainchild of wine loving hedge fund manager Grant Ashton and 39 shareholders made up predominantly of bankers.

The club, which was five years in the making, boasts a members’ lounge serving modern British dishes, hundreds of fine wines by the glass via Coravin and 5,000 wines by the bottle starting from £40, which can be perused on iPads. Master Sommelier Ronan Sayburn is in charge of the club’s wine offering, which he describes as representing “excellent value for money”.

Corkage is £20 a bottle and wines can be bought to take home at the club’s in-house shop. The cavernous space has storage for up to 2,600 cases, and members are allowed to store up to three cases of wine from their own collections at the club at a cost of £25 per case per year. In addition to its function as a members’ club, 67 Pall Mall boasts a 12-seater private dining room in the basement and will host a series of wine tastings and dinners for its members along with WSET courses. It costs £1,000 to join the club, which has an annual fee of £1,000.

Mark’s Bar at The Old Vic

There seems to be no stopping Mark Hix. No sooner than opening a restaurant and bar stumbling distance from db towers, he’s no kindly opened his first standalone Mark’s Bar just down the road at the Old Vic theatre on The Cut in Waterloo. A sister bar to the Soho original and Bankside brother, the bar will be open until 2am Thursday to Saturday for night owl thesps and star gazers.

Among the curious cocktails on offer will be the -Pharmaceutical Stimulant featuring Merlet coffee liqueur, fresh coffee and a dash of sugar; the Temperley Sour blending 3yr old cider brandy, apple juice, Kingston black, lemon, sugar, egg white, morello cheery; and the Dorset Donkey made with Black Cow milk vodka, cherry eau di vie, lime, sage, seasonal berries and ginger ale.

Les 110 de Taillevent 

An offshoot of Paris’ iconic, two Michelin-starred restaurant Taillevent opens on the site of Coutt’s Bank in Mayfair’s Cavendish Square this month offering 110 wines by the glass. Les 110 de Taillevent is a casual 80-cover version of the original will interiors by Pierre-Yves Rochon. Having succeeded with the concept in Paris since 2012, the London outpost will be similar in style to Les 110 in Paris, offering “simple, high-end classical French food”, with a €44 prix fixe menu. Signature dishes include grilled squid with red peppers, crab, dill and fennel remoulade, langoustine ravioli, and lamb sweetbread and crayfish vol au vent.

But while the food sounds like a lot of fun, wine will be the star of the show at Les 110. For each of the 30 dishes on offer there will be four suggested wine pairings at different price points. Both 70ml and 125ml measures will be available, with the four prices being £8 and under, £14 and under, £20 and under, and over £20. Wines by the glass will range from £3 for 70ml of Domaine Lafond Reuilly 2003, to £79 for 125ml of Château Haut-Brion 1999, though the majority will fall within the £15-25 bracket – ambitious pricing for bargain hungry Londoners.

Cellar SW4

Clapham High Street has a fun new wine bar in Cellar SW4. The brainchild of nearby natural wine merchant Dvine Cellars, the pint-sized bar decked out with wooden tables, metal lampshades and wine-themed photos by Tim Atkin MW, specialises in organic and biodynamic wines, with a strong focus on Australia, the bar also serves craft beer, cocktails, mead, Scotch eggs and charcuterie platters.

With 15 wines by the glass and 50 by the bottle, among the drops on offer are Lusvardi Lambrusco, Gusbourne Brut Reserve, Craig Hawkins’ Testalonga El Bandito Cortez, Tahbilk Marsanne, Birichino Grenache and Hewitson Old Garden Mourvedre.

The New Zealand Cellar

Kickstarter funded wine shop The New Zealand Cellar opens a wine bar at Pop Brixton this month and will be the first bar in the UK to only serve New Zealand wines. The 20-seater bar will be open seven days per week and will showcase the best of what the country has to offer, highlighting regional and varietal diversity, with wines available both by the bottle and by the glass.

Wine guzzlers will be open to eat food from nearby vendors in the Pop Brixton site at the bar, which will regularly host free tutored tastings and informal wine events. Founded by Melanie Brown, The New Zealand Cellar focuses on boutique wines from NZ.


The founders of The Lockhart in Marylebone have opened a sister site in Soho. Shotgun on Kingly Street is named after a style of house in Southern USA with a narrow frontage that gives a straight ‘shot’ from one end of the house to the other. It features a long cocktail bar on the ground floor and a restaurant downstairs specialising in barbecue. Dishes include pig ear pancakes, eel and mash, pork belly and brisket.

Even more excitingly, there’s a soft serve ice cream machine serving chipotle chocolate, brown butter caramel and sour cherry scoops. Behind the drinks is Matt Whiley, who will focus on punches for the full-on Southern feel. The Prairieville Punch features Arrack, jasmine green tea, hiver amer and house made Carolina rice wine. We also like the sound of the Triple Oaked Old Fashioned with Bourbon barrel sugar and burnt sugar bitters.

Blues Kitchen Brixton

Brixton Bourbon lovers rejoice! Blues Kitchen is coming your way, having just opened a third site in Brixton to complement the Camden original and its Shoreditch sister. Expect indecent amounts of USDA barbecue beef, Bourbon and blues.

Dishes include 12 hour smoked brisket, 16 hour beef short ribs, Creole crab cake Benedict, whole Canadian lobster and Cajun catfish. Split across two floors, at the tiled bar downstairs will see live blues, swing, gospel and bluegrass shows, whilst upstairs will be the likes of a Louisiana brass bands and Mississippi bluesmen. Oh, and one of the biggest Bourbon collections in the capital.

The Cocktail Trading Company

Having blazed a trail in Soho, The Cocktail Trading Company opens a second site this month in Smithfield. Founders Andy Mil, Olly Brading and Elliot Ball are keen on cocktails in odd receptacles so expect to be sipping from willies, Chinese takeaway boxes and china owls. The basement bar will be similar in style to the Soho original and shares a site with quirky restaurant Ask for Janice.

Cocktails include the Sesame Peat, a mix of Sesame 86 Co Tequila, apricot brandy, paprika cacao syrup and pineapple soda, and the Chocolate Flip, which blends Bacardi 8 year old rum, cacao-infused Chartreuse, Tawny Port and pistachio ice cream.

68 and Boston

Three leading lights in London’s nightlife scene have joined forces to open a new wine and cocktail bar in Soho, 68 and Boston. The brainchild of Eric Yu of The Breakfast Group, Planet of the Grapes owner Martin Malley and Luca Cordiglieri, the former bar manager at China Tang at The Dorchester, the space is split in two, with a wine bar on the ground floor and a late night lounge bar upstairs.

A first for London, all of the wines on the list cost £20 a bottle, of £5.50 a glass / £14 a carafe. Among the drops on offer are a Sauvignon Blanc from Uruguay, a Garnacha Blanca from Somontano, a Carignan from Argentina and a Chiean Pinot. Cocktails meanwhile, like the Basil Bootlegger and the Smoked Elderflower Margarita are £8 each.

It looks like you're in Asia, would you like to be redirected to the Drinks Business Asia edition?

Yes, take me to the Asia edition No